Scientology Linked Orgs Declared Threat to the Security of Russia

The office of the Prosecutor General of Russian declared on Friday, September 24th, that the World Institute of Scientology Enterprises International and Church of Spiritual Technology are threats to the “security of the Russian Federation.” Both religious organizations are connected to the Church of Scientology, a California-based religious cult infamous for harassing former members.

The announcement of Russia’s Prosecutor General will be ratified by the Ministry of Justice, leading to the World Institute of Scientology Enterprises International and Church of Spiritual Technology becoming an “undesirable” foreign nongovernmental organization (NGO).

Put into effect in May 2015, the undesirable organization law was expanded in June this year. If the Ministry of Justice follows the announcement of the Prosecutor General, the two religious organizations will be categorized as undesirable; this means any “NGOs that provide services or transfer money to NGOs that have the status of an undesirable” will also become undesirable.

Russia has become an increasingly hostile environment for most religions. In 2017, the Russian government recognized Jehova’s Witnesses as an extremist organization. In 2016, Russia closed the Church of Scientology’s Moscow church and declared their literature extremist.

Founded in 1953 by Ron Hubbard, the church’s notoriety comes from its bizarre doctrine and belief and the treatment of its members. This expansion of the “undesirable” organizations law will preface the Church of Scientology’s total ban from Russia.

The Church of Scientology, classified as a religion by the IRS in the United States, claims millions of members, including Hollywood actors Tom Cruise and John Travolta. Experts say it may not be necessarily true and that the number is significantly lower than what they claimed. An Australian news outlet reported that the members of the Church of Scientology are slowly declining.

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